August 8 of each year is not just another date: this time, Roger Federer’s 40 arrived. On the other hand, that same day but 2001, in Montreal a young man who today celebrates his 21 years came to light: Felix Auger-Aliassime. A review of what life was like for the Swiss when the Canadian was about to be born.
It was October 1999. Logically, Federer was not Federer. He was an 18-year-old boy whose last name was the same as today, but who had no idea what would happen years later with his career.
The point is that in that month he took a big step by winning his first and only Challenger title, in Brest (he beat Max Mirnyi 7-6 (4), 6-3). Now, here’s the funny thing: just at that moment, when Roger lifted his trophy, Auger-Aliassime hadn’t even been gestated!
In the following months, the Swiss burst onto the circuit and began, little by little, to make a place for himself. In fact, on September 20, 1999, it entered the Top 100 for the first time.
In February 2000, Auger-Aliassime was already gestated, but there were still a few months to be born. Meanwhile, Federer played his first ATP final in Marseille: He was denied the title after losing to his compatriot Marc Rosset 2-6, 6-3 and 7-6 (5).
August 8, 2000 arrived, the Canadian was born. His Majesty was ranked No. 39 on the professional circuit and I already had a certain route. At least he knew what it was like to play a final and lift a title.
A little over two months from that moment, Roger was playing his second ATP final, in Basel. He also fell, on that occasion against Thomas Enqvist, the Swede who beat him after an intense 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 1-6 and 6-1.
Exactly 180 days after Auger-Aliassime was born, Roger won his first ATP title, in Milan, after beating Frenchman Julien Boutter 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-4.
And here comes the plus of this interesting story: on the circuit they faced each other once, just this season. The Swiss began to return to the tournaments after his repeated injuries, but the Canadian made the party bitter in the second round after beating him 4-6, 6-3 and 6-2.
It is 19 years that separate one and the other. In his greeting to the Swiss in his 40s, the 21-year-old told him: “I hope I can play one day at 40 years old. Thank you for everything you have done for tennisIt’s very good that you’re still here and I hope you have a nice birthday. “
Of course, tennis does not understand generation gaps. And as long as Roger Federer remains, it will not stop being that way.